Home to two of the country's largest retail and food companies—Walmart and Tyson Foods—Arkansas' economy is ranked 34th in the nation in terms of gross state product. The state also boasts several other Fortune 500 companies, along with two of the Big Four international accounting and auditing firms, Ernst and Young and Deloitte & Touche. Arkansas supports a diverse economy based around industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, mining, forestry, and tourism. The state supports more than 500 licensed CPA firms and approximately 6,000 CPAs, and these numbers are only expected to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects accounting and auditing jobs to increase by about 13.7% in the coming decade, an increase that's higher than the national average.

Arkansas at a glance

Population 3,004,279
Per Capita Income $22,883
Unemployment Rate 3.5%
Fortune 500 Companies 7
Licensed CPA Firms 514

Accounting Programs in Arkansas

Search our comprehensive school directory to explore the accounting programs in Arkansas, including campus-based, online and hybrid programs.

Accounting Salaries and Employment

From 2012 levels, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects Arkansas will add an additional 900 CPA positions by 2022. This nearly 12% increase is on pace with the anticipated national average growth rate for CPAs.

This estimated increase of almost 1,000 additional CPAs is expected to take their place largely in the growing manufacturing and distribution sectors. The mean annual wage of Arkansas CPAs is more than $62,000 per year which is nearly 40% higher than the overall statewide income average.

Projected Job Growth for Accountants

6,660 Employees2016
8,270 Employees2026
Arkansas 19.5% increase
1,397,700 Employees2016
1,537,600 Employees2026
United States 9.1% increase
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Accounting Salaries by Specialty

Arkansas Avg. Annual Wage United States Avg. Annual Wage

Associate Degree Recommended

Bookkeeping and Auditing Clerks

\ $35,850

Payroll Clerks

\ $37,170

Credit Counselors

\ $38,700

Bachelor's Degree Recommended

Cost Estimators

\ $61,290

Tax Examiners and Collectors

\ $53,450

Master's Degree Recommended

Accountants and Auditors

\ $66,260

Budget Analysts

\ $54,470

Personal Financial Advisors

\ $103,880

Financial Managers

\ $100,370
Source: BLS OES - Industry Profile

Top-paying cities for accountants

  1. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers
  2. West Arkansas nonmetropolitan area
  3. East Arkansas nonmetropolitan area
  4. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway
  5. South Arkansas nonmetropolitan area
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics OES - State Employment Survey

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in Arkansas

Licensing for Arkansas CPAs conforms with standards and requirements elsewhere in the country. Specific requirements include a minimum of a bachelor's level degree combined with an additional 30 credits of postsecondary coursework. In addition to the 150 credit hour and degree requirements CPA candidates must have at least 2,000 of work experience under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA.

Eligibility for CPA Licensure in Arkansas

An applicant for licensure as a CPA in the state of Arkansas must be over 18 and either US citizens or legal residents with a valid social security number. Candidates must also pass all four parts of the uniform CPA examination within a single 18 month period.

Arkansas along with a majority of other states has enacted CPA mobility legislation which enables CPAs who have been licensed in other states to transfer their license to Arkansas without have to submit to reexamination. Arkansas does require that CPAs relocating to the state have licenses that are in good standing in their former home state.

Age Requirement N/A
Citizenship Requirement No
Residency Requirement No
Social Security # Requirement Yes
Education Requirement for Licensure Bachelor's degree (150 hours)
Participates in International Programs Yes
Hours in Accounting 30 semester hours
Exam Sitting Requirements 120 hours
Experience Requirements 1 year of accounting experience
Ethics Exam AICPA Ethics Exam

Arkansas' CPA eligibility and licensing requirements are available online. The Arkansas Public Accountancy Act of 1975 has been updated and contains all of the state's accounting regulations.

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

Source: The American Institute of CPAs

CPA exam fees in Arkansas

  • Application Fee $170
  • Auditing & Attestation $208
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting $208
  • Regulation $208
  • Business Environment & Concepts $208

Candidates who did not pass all four sections in their initial attempt may retake incomplete sections within 18 months. Candidates applying to retake sections are subject to fees.

Source: Arkansas State Board of Accountancy

Certifying and Professional Organizations

The Arkansas State Board of Accountancy licenses and regulates Certified Public Accountants in the State of Arkansas.

The Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA) is a professional membership organization whose goal is to serve its members and the public interest by supporting education and professional standards.

Arkansas Board of Accountancy


101 East Capitol, Suite 450
Little Rock, AR 72201

Phone Number

(501) 682-1520

Arkansas Society of CPAs


11300 Executive Center Drive
Little Rock, AR 72211

Phone Number

(501) 664-8739